Reports Detail Moeller's Confrontation With Police -- Michigan Coach Allegedly Tried To Pick Fight, Shoved Police Officer
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - According to police reports, he banged drink glasses so hard on a restaurant table top that he broke them.
He sang loudly with the band and stumbled badly as he tried to dance with reluctant strangers.
He told the waitress who served him as many as eight drinks that she was beautiful and tried to hold her at his table before she cut him off.
He tried to pick a fight with another diner and shoved police.
And he used an extremely ugly epithet to describe his wife to police. She had left the restaurant earlier to protest his drinking.
The painfully explicit details of the arrest of Michigan football coach Gary Moeller at the Excalibur restaurant in Southfield, a Detroit suburb, were released yesterday in 40 pages of police reports.
Moeller, 54, was suspended with pay Monday from his $130,000-a-year job.
Michigan officials said Keith Molin, assistant to Athletic Director Joe Roberson, will lead the university's investigation into Friday night's incident.
Assistant head coach Lloyd Carr is assuming Moeller's duties during his indefinite suspension.
Moeller's attorney, David DuMouchel, said in a prepared statement that Moeller again wished to express his "regret" over the incident. Moeller said he was "completely out of character" and is embarrassed by the episode.
The reports released by Southfield police show that the half-dozen or more officers at the scene had to endure an endless string of profanities from Moeller. Police captured some of the tirade on a pocket tape recorder.
According to witnesses' accounts, officers gave Moeller every opportunity to simply take a cab home and end a bad night. But he seemed determined to get himself arrested, several times encouraging officers to whisk him to jail.
Before they did precisely that, police reports show that Moeller:
-- Punched Southfield police officer Vincent Maviglia several times in the chest, prompting his arrest on charges of disorderly conduct and assault and battery of an officer. Moeller spent the night behind bars and was released on $200 bond the following morning, pending a later court appearance.
-- Repeatedly jabbed his fist and finger into the chest of the restaurant night manager who was trying to get Moeller, who police said was a regular at the restaurant, to switch from booze to coffee and take a cab home. Moeller also threw a lampshade at the manager, one witness reported.
-- Latched onto the sports jacket of a restaurant patron upset over the coach's boisterous behavior. The manager was able to break it up before it escalated.
-- Staggered and slurred his speech so badly that police feared he was the victim of alcohol poisoning. He was taken to Providence Hospital in Southfield where he first approved, then refused, an alcohol test. He was then returned to jail.
-- Forced several officers to wrestle his arms behind his back so he could be placed in handcuffs at the time of his arrest.
Several police officers also had to drag Moeller into the back of a squad car. Moeller stands 6 feet tall and weighs 225 pounds.
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